B Boy Jeff Dunne Break Dancing

B-Girl Rachael ‘Raygun’ Gunn and B-Boy Jeff ‘J-Attack’ Dunne will make history as Australia’s first ever Olympic breakers, after being announced today in the Australian Olympic Team for Paris 2024.

Sixteen-year-old Tweed local Dunne and 36-year-old university lecturer Gunn from Sydney will contest the Breaking at Paris’s famed Place de la Concorde, as one of only 16 male and 16 female competitors at the sport’s Olympic debut.

The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athletes qualified for the Games by winning the Oceania Breaking Championships in Sydney last year, with the pair officially selected in the Team today.

Breaking blends urban dance with remarkable athleticism, with athletes judged on creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity, and musicality.

Breaking battles have an MC and DJ – unlike other dance or routines that are practiced to set music, breakers don’t know what music they will be performing to, with how they adapt and weave their skills into the tracks a key part of their scoring.

Judges aren’t passive, with the judging panel performing a showcase at the start of each competition.

Deputy Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Kaarle McCulloch welcomed today’s announcement.

“Congratulations to Rachael and Jeff on their selection to the Australia Olympic Team,” Ms McCulloch said. “It is a remarkable achievement to be named to an Olympic Team, but to be the first in your sport to represent Australia at the Olympic level is a particularly special milestone.”

“Both athletes are outstanding ambassadors for their sport and I look forward to Aussies getting to know breaking and supporting Jeff and Rachael in Paris.

“Congratulations again to Jeff and Rachael, and to their friends, family, supporters and the entire Australian breaking community on this special achievement.

A university lecturer, Rachael Gunn is Australia’s top ranked b-girl and has represented Australia at the past three World Championships.

“I’m so excited to be part of the Australian Olympic Team,” Gunn said. “It’s something I absolutely never thought would happen, it’s such an honour and I’m so pumped for Paris.

“I love that I can show myself in breaking. There’s so much room for innovation and creativity in breaking, I get to represent my style, my crew, and now my country.

“Breaking is judged on execution, technique, vocabulary, originality, and musicality. You get one shot to execute your moves perfectly, to show your range, to bring something new and surprising, and to respond to music you’re hearing for the first time. And you’ve got to do this in a way that’s better than your opponent!

Rachael Gunn

“My students initially think I’m joking and don’t believe me, but once they realise I’m telling the truth they get so excited and tell me they’re going to be cheering for me. It’s great to see more and more people get interested in and excited about breaking, hopefully the Olympics can help bring more investment into our dynamic breaking community here in Australia.”

Sixteen-year-old Dunne from Casuarina in northern New South Wales was ecstatic to be named to his Olympic debut.

“It feels amazing, I’m super excited to go to Olympics,” Dunne said. “It feels like so much hard work and dedication, trying to get better and showing who I am through dance, has paid off.

“When I saw the scoreboard (at the Olympic qualifying event), I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but then I saw my family and my friends soaked in tears, so I just had to let my emotions go.

“I train hard, four to six hours every day, working on style, the way I move, working on routines and trying to upgrade my dynamic ability.

“My favourite part of competing is the power moves. I first started breaking because I love the crazy spins, all the movement is insane.

Jeff Dunne

“The breaking community is so supportive; everyone is so excited to be able to watch Aussies at the Games. I’m just so thankful to all the people around me who have helped me get here, my coaches, crew and especially my family.”

AUSBreaking President Lowe Napalan congratulated the athletes on their selection.

“Congratulations to Raygun and J-Attack, they’re history makers for our sport,” Napalan said.

“I hope seeing Jeff and Rachael at the Paris Olympics inspires kids to take up breaking. The Australian breaking scene is very young compared to the rest of the world and the potential for growth is so high.

“Being part of the Olympic community has opened doors and other opportunities for breakers, providing something we never thought would happen.

“It’s hard to describe the atmosphere and experience of breaking battles, but I know Aussie fans are going to love it.”

The breaking competition at Paris 2024 will see 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls face off in 1v1 battles at La Concorde on 9 and 10 August.

More Australian breakers have the opportunity to qualify for Paris 2024 through the Olympic Qualifying Series, with events running from March to June.

Article and image courtesy of AOC

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